April 27, 2015 nº 1,620 - Vol. 11

"To refrain from imitation is the best revenge."

Marcus Aurelius

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  • Top News

White House takes cybersecurity pitch to Silicon Valley

Obama's newly installed defense secretary, Ashton B. Carter, toured Silicon Valley last week to announce a new military strategy for computer conflict, starting the latest Pentagon effort to invest in promising start-ups and to meet with engineers whose talent he declared the Pentagon desperately needed in fending off the nation's adversaries. Carter immediately acknowledged, though, the need to rebuild trust with Silicon Valley, whose mainstays — like Apple, Google and Facebook have spent two years demonstrating to customers around the world that they are rolling out encryption technologies to defeat surveillance. That, of course, includes blocking the National Security Agency, a critical member of the military-intelligence community. "I think that people and companies need to be convinced that everything we do in the cyber domain is lawful and appropriate and necessary," Mr. Carter told students and faculty at Stanford. He urged the next generation of software pioneers and entrepreneurs to take a break from developing killer apps and consider a tour of service fending off Chinese, Russian and North Korean hackers, even as he acknowledged that the documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden, the former intelligence contractor, "showed there was a difference in view between what we were doing and what people perceived us as doing."

'Flash Crash' investigators likely missed clues

Investigators overlooked evidence given to them just hours after the 2010 "flash crash" that could have enabled them to uncover the strategies of Navinder Sarao, the trader now accused of helping cause the violent selloff in stocks that day, according to members of a committee that oversaw the investigation. As a result, it took five years to find the traces of manipulation that authorities now say contributed to the wild swings in the US futures market and the ensuing panic, the committee members said. Sarao, a 36-year-old resident of suburban London, was arrested last week; he was charged with profiting from illegal trading strategies from 2009 to 2014 and contributing to the crash.

US banks face 'golden parachutes' challenge

Investors are set to challenge some of Wall Street's biggest banks on their "golden parachutes," which can see top executives pocket millions of dollars before taking jobs in government. AFL-CIO, America's biggest trade union federation which manages $94bn in assets, will begin a campaign against the practice at Citigroup's annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday. Citi is among a handful of big banks allowing government-bound staff to cash out of incentive programs by accelerating the vesting of their stock awards. Critics argue that such benefits, which do not apply to people quitting for other jobs in the private sector, have ensured a succession of financial insiders in senior policy positions and deferential treatment towards Wall Street.

Ebay backs Google over Brussels antitrust inquiry

Ebay's chief executive has added weight to Google's antitrust defense by saying that the pair are direct competitors in online shopping, echoing the US search group's claim that Brussels misunderstands how people buy products online. John Donahoe said that barriers were breaking down between different areas of online commerce. The auction website chief's comments support arguments already made by Google in its first response to the European Commission's landmark competition case.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China to crack down on stock manipulation as market soars

China's securities regulator started a campaign to crack down on stock-market manipulation and insider trading, the latest effort to reduce risks as an equities boom lures a record number of novice investors. The China Securities Regulatory Commission will target trading by brokerage employees using non-public information, and market manipulation, including of futures prices, the CSRC said. The regulator also cited insider trading in over-the-counter markets and accounting fraud in mergers and acquisitions.

Row over human embryo gene editing

A controversial Chinese study that reveals genes in human embryos have been modified for the first time has sparked fierce debate. Experts are questioning whether the procedure - which, if taken further, could lead to genetic changes being passed on to future generations - has crossed ethical, moral and legal lines.

Changing power in a multi-polar world

At a global conference a few years ago, former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers revealed that Americans would really prefer to be the G1. Not the G7 grouping of the biggest economies, or even the G3, but the G1 - where America would be the sole decision-maker. It may not be too surprising since the US has been the sole economic superpower for most of the post-war period. But times are changing. A big sign of the shift was when the British and other Europeans, as well as allies such as Australia and South Korea, all signed up to the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to be founding members. Their actions were over the objections of the Americans, who are not only concerned about China leading the AIIB - which is a competitor to the World Bank, a multilateral institution led by the US - but also about not being consulted beforehand by the Brits who have a "special relationship" with America.

Look to global law for South China sea engagement

Respect for international law must be the basis of rules of engagement and activities in the South China Sea, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said as tensions rise over the waters hosting some of the busiest shipping lanes. His comments came a day after the Philippines said Asean needs to stand up to China on its reclamations in the South China Sea.


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  • Brief News

Greece under attack by eurozone creditors for lack of progress

Nineteen eurozone creditors held a meeting in Latvia on Friday to demand the completion of the economic reform program agreed to by Greece necessary to avoiding a Grecian default or exit from the euro. An agreement between Greece and the creditors in February set an end-of-April deadline for the production of a comprehensive agreed-upon list of reforms; compliance would allow Greece access to the remaining 7.2 billion euros in its bailout fund. However, with the initial deadline rapidly approaching and the failure of Greece to produce agreed-upon reforms, european officials are disenchanted with the delaying tactics expressed by the Greek government.

Burdened with debt, law school graduates struggle in job market

About 20 percent of 2010 graduates have jobs that do not require a law license, a new study shows, and only 40 percent are working in law firms. (Click here)

Australia urges drug execution halt

Australia has called on Indonesia to delay executing two convicted Australian drug traffickers until corruption claims are investigated. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said there was an appeal before Indonesia's Constitutional Court and a separate investigation at the country's Judicial Commission. One of the judges involved in the case denied there had been political interference or negotiations about bribes.

Deutsche Bank profit hit by legal costs

Deutsche Bank has reported a sharp fall in profits after setting aside €1.5bn ($1.6bn) to cover legal costs and regulatory fines. Net income for the first three months of the year was €559m, down by a half on a year earlier. Revenue rose by almost a quarter to €10.4bn. The bank had already disclosed it had set aside the €1.5bn. The results come just days after the bank was fined €2.3bn for trying to manipulate inter-bank lending rates.

HRW: Morsi trial "badly flawed"

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Sunday said that the trial of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was "badly flawed" and compromised by due process violations. The former president was convicted on April 21 for inciting violence and ordering the killing and torturing of protesters in 2012 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. While the full judgment has not yet been made public, a review conducted by HRW of the prosecution's case file summary revealed little evidence to support Morsi's conviction other than testimony from military and police officers and that the case against him was based on his relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood. HRW also noted concerns from Morsi's defense team, who said their complaints about limited access to their client were ignored by the court and that the defense team called no witnesses for fear of arrest. One lawyer stated that the glass barrier that surrounded Morsi during the trial also constituted a due process violation, as it made it difficult for him to hear the judge and prevented lawyers from speaking to him. Morsi's defense team plans to appeal the conviction of the former president, who faces five other ongoing prosecutions as well.

Ukraine's president says martial law ready if troops attacked

President Petro Poroshenko said he's ready to place Ukraine under martial law if his army is attacked in the embattled eastern part of the country. "If Ukrainian troops are attacked, we can do everything to introduce martial law," Poroshenko said. "I will submit to parliament a corresponding bill and the country will very quickly move to a military footing." He also said that international military drills in Ukraine in no way violate the Minsk cease-fire agreement.

Putin: 'no regrets' over Crimea annexation

In a new documentary titled The President, the Russian leader says seizing Crimea from Ukraine righted a historical wrong. Putin denies that the importance of the Black Sea peninsula is not strategic. "It's because this has elements of historical justice. I believe we did the right thing and I don't regret anything," he says.

UN rights chief calls on UK to curb 'hate speech' in tabloids

The systematic anti-foreigner language used in British tabloids for decades, and a recent article in The Sun calling migrants "cockroaches," moved the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to take action on Friday, calling on UK officials and the media to curb incitement to hatred.

Dewey & LeBoeuf trial is expected to be lengthy

Jury selection begins Monday in the case in which three lawyers are accused of hiding the now-defunct firm's financial situation from investors.

Apple set to be latest to suffer dollar impact

A surge in the US dollar has already wiped more than $20bn from first quarter sales at the largest US companies, a sum larger than revenues generated by Intel, Caterpillar or Goldman Sachs in the first three months of the year. With the US earnings season approaching the halfway stage, that figure is likely to jump further. Apple, the world's most valuable company, reports results on Monday and warned in January that the currency move could slice more than $2bn from quarterly revenues. (Click here)

  • Weekly Magazine Review

The 100 most influential people in the World

Aftershock in Nepal Following Quake That Killed More Than 2,200

Business Week
The People’s Republic of Cruiseland

The Economist
Refugees. Europe’s boat people

Der Spiegel
"Da liegt sie, diese Bestie"

La Guerra di Renzi

  • Daily Press Review

Nepal quake toll rises above 3,000
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Earthquake survivor prayed, huddled under beam
CNN International, London, England

Zesty! Myleene Klass dresses her slender frame in burnt orange dress as she steps out for radio photocall
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Bad back? Blame it on the chimps:
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Nepal: Helicopters evacuate injured from Everest base camp
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Quake effort ramps up as Nepal death toll passes 3,200
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Ottoman military graveyard found on Greek island off Gallipoli
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Nepal earthquake: Doctors forced to operate in tents with hospitals overwhelmed as death toll rises - and aftershocks keep coming
Independent The, London, England

Nepal earthquake and Everest avalanche kill more than 3,300 people with 'violent' aftershock causing more chaos
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Victoria Derbyshire: I resent it when viewers focus on what I'm wearing
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Nepal earthquake death toll tops 2,400
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Quack Plastic Surgeons Hurt the Entire Country
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Indonesia executions blanks in firing squad rifles shot to head for sure death
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

BSP to play crucial role in mayoral elections
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Voting kicks off in mayoral, municipal assembly elections
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Deaths rise, aid flown in after Nepal quake: Things to Know
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Ukraine President cancels trip over protests in eastern Ukraine
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Beat the post holiday blues
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Olympic Hero Haile Gebrselassie Becomes ZTE Brand Ambassador
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Swedish steel firm SSAB Q1 adjusted operating profit beats forecast
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Nepal earthquake: Death toll rises to over 3,200
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Toronto climber survives on Everest during earthquake
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Liberty Reserve Brought Down By 'Joe Bogus': How The Feds Arrested Arthur Budovsky
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

Planned Mega-Port in Brazil Threatens Rich Ecological Region
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Cap Gemini to buy U.S.-based IGATE in $4 billion deal
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Desperate Nepalis flee capital as aftershocks spread fear
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Nepal earthquake: Death toll climbs to over 3,200
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Deadly protests in Burundi capital
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England


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